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Obama administration tightens up Endangered Species Act

The federal government recently proposed a new rule that would end a loophole in the Endangered Species Act that allows species to be classified differently in neighboring states, The Associated Press reports.

The new policy states that a plant or animal can be listed as threatened or endangered if said threats occur in a "significant portion of its range," the news source reports. This would mean that if the threat does not apply in the species entire range or if it crosses state lines, it still qualifies for protection under the act.

The measure comes after the recent controversy over whether to lift protections on gray wolves in Idaho and Montana, the news source reports. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy recently ruled that the wolf could not be declared recovered in two states when part of the same population was threatened in nearby Wyoming.

However, the Center for Biological Diversity says that the phrasing of the law offers yet another loophole.

"Under the policy proposed today, a species could be absolutely gone or close to vanishing almost everywhere it's always lived - but not qualify for protection because it can still be called secure on one tiny patch of land," Noah Greenwald, endangered species director the Center told Care2.com.
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